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Bus drivers start at $13 per hour

I saw that they are once again recruiting school bus drivers in Medford. Not that I really want to chauffeur around a bunch of rambunctious kids, but it made me wonder what the pay and schedule is for bus drivers. Can those drivers get extra work by driving sports teams or class field trips? I assume that some kind of licensing/training is required.

— Bob, Medford

Bob, in case you change your mind about carting around rambunctious kids, First Student is still in need of about 10 to 15 bus drivers to service Medford routes this school year.

Drivers work split shifts and are guaranteed at least two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon and average about 4.5 to 5 hours a day, said dispatcher Krys Broadwater.

There also are opportunities to pick up midday routes, such as those for students with modified schedules. And drivers with at least 90 days of experience also are eligible to chauffeur field trips and sports trips, Broadwater said.

First Student starts its drivers at $13 an hour and offers free training for all hires, including a session on student management.

“Yes, you’re driving around sometimes loud and noisy kids, but we teach you and give you student management tools,” Broadwater said. “But they are still kids.”

Bus driver positions, she added, are ideal for retirees looking for additional income and parents who want holidays and summers off with their children.

Drivers interested in the position must earn their passenger, school bus and air brake endorsements and get their commercial drivers permit before they can begin their behind-the-wheel training. Once they have completed the classroom and driving hours, they must take a test to earn a Commercial Driver's License.

Drivers are responsible for all DMV licensing and testing fees.

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